This week, armed with an anti-monarchist sign at the Queen’s funeral procession, a Scottish woman has been arrested for breaching the peace.
“Fuck Imperialism, Abolish Monarchy” were the words being paraded around over the 22-year-old woman’s head outside the St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, the Scottish Capital.
Edinburgh has been astir right before the King’s Accession proclamation and throughout the past week’s ceremonies regarding Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.
With the nation’s turbulent history with the monarchy and the combined recent events of Her Majesty the Queen passing on their soil, there have been split sentiments about grieving or proclaiming the abolishment of this ancient British tradition of monarchic rule.
With living costs rising so exponentially in the past months, the taxpayer’s money now has to overcome another financial burden to pay for the funeral’s eccentricities. Not to mention the reprinting of the British pound with King Charles’ representation or the additional costs of continuing a monarchic rule whose history is affiliated with ravaging colonialism. Many Scots are understandably exclaiming their fury.
The 22-year-old Scot was charged with “a breach of peace” and will appear ahead of the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, according to Police Scotland. Otherwise, few details have been made public, but the news of this arrest has quickly traveled the grapevine.
Many republican campaigners, free speech activists, and anti-monarchists have been quick to express their concerns.
Although there were seemingly endless amounts of people queuing across Edinburgh to pay their respects, many also wanted to take the opportunity to express their sentiment against the monarchy’s ruling of Scotland and the inordinate expenses now incurring on the Kingdom’s people already struggling financially at unprecedented customs. And, most pressingly, the oppression of free speech that this funeral has enforced.
King Charles ordained the national minute of silence on Sunday night in advance of her funeral on Monday, 12 September, at Westminster Hall. Mourners in attendance to view the coffin were pre-emptively warned about potential 30-hour queues, about five miles long. (A funny note to add that the British are particularly fond of waiting in lines.)
Ahead of this enormous crowd of mourners, whose numbers were expected to reach 750,000 people, he proclaimed,
As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate themselves with such personal commitment, for the betterment of us all.
Henceforth he added remembrance of the late Queen as “set(ting) an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.”
Following the final rings of the national anthem, the King and Queen consort, accompanied by the Lords and Commons Speakers, were escorted away.
Compared to the Scottish sentiment to the Queen’s passing, London has rivaled unprecedented numbers of people there to mourn Her Majesty. The crowd even surpassed the numbers present for Lady Diana’s funeral in 1997.
Although these are mournful times for many across the Kingdom, the law for protest must remain intact and defended. The people must be permitted their voice, and the threat of arrest the funeral has incurred merely strengthens the need to protect such rights in historical moments as these.
Read more here on Her Majesty the Queen’s passing.